My weirdest job’s weirder than your weirdest job

March 11, 2010 · 20 comments

I love Fridays. I also love Friday blog posts because I generally try to make them less financial and more fun. Today, I’m gonna be writing about the weirdest job I have ever had. Afterwards, I hope you’ll share your weirdest job so we can see what PDITF reader has had THE WEIRDEST JOB OF ALL TIME!

Here’s mine…

I graduated college Spring 2007 with a shiny new degree in psychology. I was fascinated by medicine, hospitals, and the world of mental health so I started applying to a ton of hospitals. I interviewed for a summer position at an involuntary psychiatric hospital near my parents home in Washington state. For those that don’t know, “involuntary” means the patient does not want to be in treatment but either the police, the court, or their family felt otherwise. They are literally locked inside a building (24/hrs a day, 7 days a week) as they are considered a danger to themselves and others. I was 21 years old and had no idea what I was getting myself in to.

I was paid $13/hr to monitor the ward and ensure the safety of all the patients. It may sound condescending, and I don’t mean for it to be, but I was essentially a babysitter for mentally sick adults. I made their meals, watched movies with them, counseled them, made art projects with them, changed their clothes when they “messed” themselves, etc. I loved my job. I got to watch people, who were desperately in need of help, get better. I personally can’t think of anything more rewarding than watching a “sick” person become healthy.

Needless to say, I had quite a few “odd experiences” during my three months working at the hospital. During that time I…

… was threatened to be killed (numerous times)

… watched a patient walk in to the bathroom and start taking a shower while fully clothed

… was told I have a green aura that hovers above my head

… watched someone poop in their hand and then proceed to eat it

… received a phone call from a former patient that wanted to know if I would meet him at McDonalds for lunch. (I declined)

… and was hit on by a number of female patients…and one male patient

These are a just few memories that come to mind when I reflect upon my three months as a psychiatric technician. I have more stories, but don’t think they would be appropriate to share here (you might throw up in your mouth if you heard em). It was definitely the weirdest job I’ve ever had, but also the most fulfilling. I’ve learned that weird doesn’t always mean bad, in fact it can often be fun, exciting, and new.

So now that you know my weirdest job, care to share yours? Do you think it trumps mine? If you haven’t had a totally odd ball job, do you know someone that has? Let’s see just how crazy of a work history we can get going in the comment section below!

{ 20 comments }

1 mooner

One summer, when I finished high school, I got a summer job with the Federal government, Natural Resources. During the interview the guy asked me if I'm squeemish around bugs. I was like "no, no, of course not". (I was around 18, little blond girl.) My job for the summer was to stare through a microscope looking at pine needle branches counting sawfly eggs. (I had never even heard of a sawfly.) By the end of the summer the eggs hatched and I had to count the worms on the branches. It wasn't that fun and the microscope gave me a headache, but I did go on a couple of field trips to the woods. A guy was doing his Masters thesis on sawflies, he was in the Foresty program in university. I actually ended up working with him again years later, he got a job at my IT job after I finished university. I guess the forestry thing didn't work out for him.

2 FinCatastrophizer

As a high school student I was a…Gold Panner. That's right. A gold panner like in the gold rush. Of course, my job was to be an expert gold panner and teach families and people who came to the site. It was fun but also hectic and annoying…and a really really low paying job. But hey, I figured it was better than mcdonalds. Maybe I was right…maybe not but how many people can put "Gold Panner" on their resume?

3 afamilyofgeeks

I read erotica to make sure it didn’t contain incest or pedophilia. Reading porn all day is definitely not as much fun as it sounds.

4 Bytta

Did you contemplate a life of celibacy after that?

5 Evan

I was a stock boy at victoria's secret it was literally an amazing job where I got hit on constantly but not the norm lol

6 Forest

I was a corn detassler when I was 13. This consists of walking through a cornfield all day under the blazing sun and pulling the tassel (top part) off each and every corn plant. Not only is it hot and dirty work, but corn plant leaves are actually super sharp, so you’d get cut up all day too. Not worth the $4.25 an hour I made. :)
.-= ForestĀ“s most recent blog ..Vested! =-.

7 Jonesie

The weirdest job that I almost had was working for a recluse. I saw the add posted on the job board at my university. The description made it sound like an elderly person that just need a little extra help with errands like paying bills, grocery store runs, etc… When I went to the apartment for the interview, a rather unkempt woman answered the door. She ushered me into her apartment. It seemed as though she needed assistance because she was no longer able to go outside of her apartment due to a "magnetic field that seeped into her body" and made her sensitive to light and sound. Upon entering her apartment, I noticed mounds of pennies on the floor. The piles were at least shin high and they were all over the room. The pennies "counter-acted" the negative impact of the magnetic field. I politely declined the job offer and beat feet out of that place.

8 Investing Newbie

Wow, this is great. I don't think I've ever had a weird job. I would say the most interesting job I've had was being a barista at Starbucks. I guess that makes me lame.

Although, can I just say something Ninja? I mean, if you saw this person poop in his hand and then watch him eat it, why didn't you stop him? Were you snoozin on the job or do you have a sick fascination with poop-eaters? (I'm sure there is a word for the latter…) LOL.

9 PunchDebt

You and your wife How do you propose stopping someone who poops in their hand. You're crazy if you think I was just gonna walk up to him and take the poop out of his hands. I tried to talk him out of it, but the time from him pulling his pants down in his room to poo in his hands to putting said poo in his mouth was about 1.5 sec. Not much I could do except keep myself from throwing up, calling for other technicians, putting on a medical robe and eventually tackling the guy to keep him from further monstrosities.stay up all night drinking and playing poker…

10 Jonesie

I once worked at a nursing home while in college. My main duty was to entertain the residents. I would read them newspapers, paint their fingernails, play bingo with them, take them for walks. One day I was walking some of the residents to Music Monday and one had to use the restroom. She was trying to get into the bathroom that is reserved for visitors. It was kept locked in order for it to remain clean. I tried explaining to her that it was locked and tried to escort her to her room. She wasn't having any of that. Instead of letting me take her to the restroom in her private room, she decided to poop right there in the main hall during music. For whatever reason, she wasn't wearing underwear, and it just fell in a big pile on the floor. That was handsdown the most disgusting thing I've witnessed. Fortunately for me, I had no certification and therefore not "qualified" to clean up that ginormous mound of poop. That is the true definition of dodging a bullet:)

11 Wes

i believe the term is copraphagia

12 PunchDebt

How do you propose stopping someone who poops in their hand. You're crazy if you think I was just gonna walk up to him and take the poop out of his hands. I tried to talk him out of it, but the time from him pulling his pants down in his room to poo in his hands to putting said poo in his mouth was about 1.5 sec. Not much I could do except keep myself from throwing up, calling for other technicians, putting on a medical robe and eventually tackling the guy to keep him from further monstrosities.

13 moneymatekate

Dude, I'm a massage therapist. In NYC. I've had clients (all men) cry on my shoulder, douse me in Purell, beg for genital torture, offer me $1000 to have sex with them, and one of them even gave me a lapdance. As for poop stuff, well, I've thrown out a few skidmarked sheets over the years. I think we're at LEAST tied.

14 Amy

My strangest job was while I was with a temp agency in Ft. Wayne, IN back in the early 80's. I was sent to a job to be a model for the fake drivers licenses you used to find in new wallets. This same agency sent me to an Archway cookie factory dressed all in white to work on their assembly line!

15 psychsarah

I did temp work for a while during university, and the oddest job we got was taking inventory at a pill factory. We had to wear all this gear so we could count pills all day long. Each pile of pills had to be counted twice and if you and your partners' numbers didn't match you got to do it all over again-yipppeeee!! Thankfully it was a short assignment.

16 Jayme

I have 2 that i can think of off the top of my head

one was spray painting the roads for a bike path. This would not be to bad, except i ended up smelly and gross. And going to eat in a rich area while looking like a homeless person does not warent you wonderful treatment.

The other Job was in a genetics lab that i am actually still currently working at. I had the basic labratory jobs, wash dishes pour plates, make food for the flies (we worked with fruit flies). Sex the flies (not sleep with them but seperate males from females). Kill the flies. You know the usual. But the weird part is that the person i worked for used to come in the lab and eat the fly food.

17 Kate

Oh man this brings back painful memories. I did a stint as a temp for a security company. They made GPS units that could be put in cars so employers could keep tabs on their employees.

They made me stand in the middle of this area that was masking-taped off, about 6 feet across. I wasn't allowed to leave it (even to pee or eat lunch) without an escort. Beside the masking tape circle was a giant stack of boxes and a window.

My job was to take the units out of the box, wave them in front of the window to register them with the satellite, repack them in the box, and start over again. Repeat nearly 500 times, from my masking tape circle.

18 Little House

My "weirdest" job I ever had, which I really loved, was as a lactation educator. For those of you who will never be able to lactate, that means breastfeeding educator. I was finishing up college and was hired as an admin to a breastfeeding consultant. She helped moms who's babies weren't gaining weight, but wanted to continue breastfeeding (usually it was due to the baby not latching on correctly). I really enjoyed my time with the new babies and the moms. I taught breastfeeding classes at a local hospital after getting certified, I was 23 and not a mom myself. The parents looked at me a little strangely.

While in the position, I saw mothers bawling, one mother almost dropped her baby and I caught it, a baby poop all over its mother (yuck!), and lots of babies pee when I was weighing them (they were cold.)

19 Single Guy Money

Wow, those are some pretty weird jobs. Thankfully, I've never worked at a job that was too weird. The weirdest job I had was in college. I worked for the engineering department and I had so sort various nuts and bolts for 4 hours. The bad thing about it was that my boss was a professor who could not control hit spit when he talked….and he liked to get really close when he talked.

P.S. If I saw someone eating their own poop, I would probably lose my lunch, and dinner too.

20 Claire

When I was a young backpacker, I had a job in Vancouver where I had to heat press fish scales (salmon) on to aceletyne? so that the scientists from Canada wildlife and fisheries could age the fish that were being caught, to make sure the catch wasn't too young. Did you know that fish scales have rings on them like the rings on a tree , and yep one ring = one year of life. If the fish caught were too young then it would effect the breeding of the next generation. Sometimes I had to put the ear bones in some aort of solution – ear bones give a better age reading.

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